Critics of Iron Chef America, White House Edition, Wonder If the Fix Was In
If you haven't yet had a chance, like Y&H, to watch the Iron Chef America episode in which the not-so-secret ingredient is the White House vegetable garden, you might want to stop reading now.
Otherwise, you'll never forgive me for what I'm about to do: reveal the winner in the star-studded cook-off that pitted Mario "Orange Crush" Batali and Emeril "Bam Bam" Lagasse against Bobby "Death Smirk" Flay and White House Executive Chef Cristeta "I'm Surrounded by Too Much Testosterone" Comerford.
I have a reason. The New York Times' Kim Severson and Sam Sifton suggested yesterday that the fix was in during their give-and-take on the Diner's Journal blog. As in: The winner was a foregone conclusion given the fact that the show was provided access to the most powerful house in the whole stinkin' universe (American interpretation, naturally). Take a read:
K.S.Seriously, the only one who kept her peas in the basket, as it were, was Cristeta Comerford. She was cool as a cucumber, even when her pastry guy was in the weeds and Alton Brown asked her strange, overwrought and unanswerable questions. And her look was flawless throughout, which is more than I can say about the brothers. I completely heart her now. Here’s the bigger question: Was the fix in? I mean, I know reality TV isn’t exactly real, but this felt like a set up of the highest order. How are you going to get your Food Network show invited to the most powerful house in the world and not give the gold to the host team?
S.S. Let’s turn that question over to the readers. For myself, I think it would have been hard, even for British subjects like Ms. Lawson and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (Ms. Seymour’s greatest role) to deny Ms. Comerford and her employer’s vegetables the win. I think that would have been the case even if that chowder thing she and Mr. Flay made wasn’t as dodgy and weird and gross as it looked and sounded.
Also, that there was a fix would suggest the idea that Mr. Batali burned the radishes on purpose. And I love that idea. (”I charred some icicle radishes,” he said, as if this were smart cooking, when he introduced the dish. Dude! Nice try!) Because: did you see the expressions on the judges’ faces after they ate Mr. Batali’s sweet-potato raviolo, with the egg yolk inside? They were rapturous. That was a winning dish, right there. I suspect that Mr. Flay’s barbecue and tamale dish was, as well. But my feeling is he would have won with a pile of blue-corn tortillas, some honey mustard and a heap of steamed kale.
OK, readers, let's get into it. What the fix in?